SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Men in Black 3 - Agent J and Stalk Eyes
Jakks Pacific

Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific


It's been quite awhile since Men in Black and Men in Black II hit theaters - the first hit in 1997, the second 5 years later in 2002. Now 10 years later we are treated to the third installment, still starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, and adding Josh Brolin as a young Agent K.

Unlike standard super hero films, the Men in Black trilogy is one of those series that most people don't realize is based on a series of comic books. Like the earlier The Mask and a million films after, Hollywood dipped into the rich world of graphic novels for the inspiration.

I would never say that it's easier for a graphic novel to get picked up for a film than a regular novel, but it sure must be advantageous to already have a pre-made 'storyboard' for Hollywood execs to look at.

I have no idea if the new film will be a hit or a dud - the previews look good, especially Brolin as Agent K - but I know my kids and I will be hitting the theaters to check it out. Just like the previous MiB flicks, there's also a line of toys on the pegs, including the Agent J and Stalk Eyes figures I'm reviewing tonight. This series is 4" scale, and has both single packs and deluxe sets. These singles run around $10 a  pop, depending on the retailer.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific

Packaging - ***
The small bubble packages have a unique shape, and there's very little waste. The general logo design is pretty basic, but it follows the movie look of course. Another plus is the inclusion of instructions, which make using the various features much easier.

I suspect some folks will find the tri-logo text annoying, as it does tend to fill up the cardback.

Sculpting - J **; Stalk Eyes ***
A quick glance at Agent J, and you might assume I'm being too hard on him. It's not a bad likeness, although the head itself is a smidge too small for the body.

There's not a ton of detail in the sculpt either, but it's reasonable considering the license. So why the low score? Because I'm including the serious quality problem I encountered.

I didn't notice it in the package, but I should have. He has two left hands! While this is hopefully just a problem with my figure, it's possible that a whole batch ended up this way. Be sure to pay extra attention when you're grabbing these off the shelf.

Stalker Eyes doesn't suffer from the same or even any similar issues. His head sculpt has more detail work on the skin texture, and while the body is pretty boring, he's still a interesting alien overall.

These are in a 4" scale, with J at that height and Eyes just a smidge taller. They'll fit in with most other recent lines in this same scale, such as Star Wars.

Paint - ***
This is pretty basic mass market paint work, but there's no real slop or overt quality issues. There's a minimum of detail, and many of the larger pieces are simply cast in the right color, but what paint work is here is relatively clean. The consistency of the color and finish is good as well.

The one area that could have had a better application is the Stalker Eyes teeth. While it's clear dental hygiene isn't his top priority, there's still more mess than you'd like.

Articulation - **1/2
There's basic articulation here, nothing to make them super posable, but all the joints work well and allow for decent play and posing.

The neck is a regular cut joint, although it does have a little tilt to it. The post/disc shoulders don't have as great of a range of movement as a real ball, but they work fairly well for standard posing.

The arms also have pin elbows and cut wrists, while the legs have ball hips, pin knees and cut ankles. The pants don't allow for muchankle movement, however. Likewise, there's a cut waist, but the jacket is a bit restrictive.

You aren't going to get any super deep action poses out of these, but the articulation is sufficient for standard poses.

Accessories - ***
Each figure comes with a funky cool laser gun of some sort, and they can hold them easily in their hands. The sculpts are a little soft, but not bad for this smaller scale.

Both figures also come with a transforming ring. Not sure if the ring concept makes any sense with the film - this isn't Green Lantern after all - but it's certainly different than the usual fare.

The rings come folded up so you can wear them (sort of), but with a push of a small red button, they pop out into some sort of contraption for use with the figure.

J's turns into a 'sonic drifter', while the ring that comes with Stalker Eyes turns into a clip on set of roto-blades. The little blades actually turn (manually) inside the housing.

J can actually fit on his drifter, and the base is designed to remain upright while he's in place.

It's not a ton of extras considering the ten dollar price point, but they do add a little play value.

Fun Factor - ***
These figures fit in nicely with other lines, scale-wise, and the joints are solid. These are made for real play, and can hold up to it easily enough.

Value - **
Ten bucks? It's an awfully tough price point to swallow for 4" figures. Eight bucks seems closer to right, even with the funky rings.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing! These are very well made, sturdy figures, with little chance of breakage.

Overall - Stalk Eyes ***; Agent J **1/2
I looked over all the figures from the line, and there's nothing here that's going to get collectors excited. They aren't bad figures though, covering the key characters and some cool aliens. The articulation is reasonable, the sculpts decent, and my one real issue - the wrong hand on J - is hopefully an exception, not the rule. Kids may enjoy them, depending on how well the movie does, and you could always add them into the rotation with other 4" scale toys.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - J **; Stalk Eyes ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - Stalk Eyes ***; Agent J **1/2

Where to Buy -
Right now your best option is the local Toys R Us, although I'm betting other mass market retailers will pick these up over the next couple weeks.

Related Links -
Somewhat surprising, at least to me, is that this is my first Men in Black related review in 13 years!

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS!



Share this review with others! 
Google +1
 
Digg it!
 StumbleUpon Toolbar
Stumble It!
 
Reddit

Men in Black 3 action figures by Jakks Pacific


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2012, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com